You may still be thinking that your own way of thinking (i.e. (See the Chinese interpretation of Christianity on Christianity in China.). While Communism is not practiced in China today, its influence lingers in education and strong one-party government control of commerce and the populace. Actions have reinforced thought patterns, and established thought has led to more of the same actions, in a chicken-and-egg scenario lasting millennia. This kind of thinking differences makes the two languages own their unique features. All Rights Reserved. are now driving competition and innovation in China, which often goes against the grain, and consistency is also a goal in the West, but more difficult to achieve there. This paper presents a comparison between Chinese perspectives on systems thinking and ideas from the West, primarily the U.S. and the U.K. Taoism developed in China from the fourth century BC with principles of harmony and cyclic repetitious processes. "a straight line"). Similarly, the Western tradition has certainly housed strains of thought that do view the state as more of a natural outgrowth of small human groups such as family and community. Here are five cultural differences in thinking and perception between the East and West. In some cases, a third party may be used to convey negative news from one side to another, in order to avoid confrontations. The flip side of this, is that help is rarely given to strangers or people without any relationship. Chinese New Year (which is coming up soon) is useful for clearing “debts” among friends in this manner. © 2020 ChineseLearnOnline.com. Though Christianity teaches love for all people, unity, and an acceptance of God's word, its (Protestant) interpretation in the West tends to support individual, focused, linear progress ("innovation") towards a heavenly goal, and a questioning attitude in the pursuit of truth. When visiting China (if coming from a Western country), it will help you greatly to think about the differences between Eastern and Western thinking, in order to understand Chinese culture, and to avoid so much culture shock. They don't say "our" so much. In particular we focus on the debate between reductionism and holism which is one of the classical subjects of study in the philosophy of science. The usual Western way is … Thus is it safe to say that Eastern philosophy is classical Chinese, while Western philosophy is more Latin in its roots. It is also common for people to not stop and help others during vehicle accidents, so as not to get involved with people they don’t know. While China is surrounded by huge mountain ranges, deserts, and ocean , Western (European) nations have been surrounded by relatively smaller geographical obstacles and … People of different cultures think differently and these different ways of thinking create barriers to understanding and communication. It might surprise you how people from two different cultures can have such different thinking and attitudes! This same situation can also be observed in personal relationships between a Westerner and a Chinese, where the latter’s silence on matters and propensity to not confront, could erroneously suggest to the former that all is well in the relationship, when that might not be the case. In the West, independence and freedom of choice are highly valued. The main differences between the school of thought or the philosophies of the East and West are the West’s Individualism and the East’s Collectivism. Any deviation from these principles makes you stand out in a negative way. Buddhism arrived in China in the first century AD, with similar principles to Taoism. The founders of the contrasting philosophies of Confucianism and Rationalism all lived around 500 BC, but in quite different environments, as discussed above. Basically there are four ancient influences (geography, history, philosophy, and religion) and three modern influences (government, capitalism, and consumerism). CONCRETE THINKING AND ENGLISH WRITING Generally speaking, the thinking mode of westerners tends to be abstract while Chinese thinking is always concrete. Many things such as education, marriage, and community type can be different from what we have in our Western civilization. Chinese Culture vs. Western and American Culture There are many different aspects on Ancient Chinese culture that differ from Western and American culture. We won’t go down to exhaust all possible differences, like the brand of restaurants Chinese go to .vs. In the Chinese world, politeness is part of a basic set of principles that has to be followed by all. Much of this comes from the Confucian system of hierarchy. Lead them with excellence and put them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of shame, they will order themselves harmoniously." Though modern China has moved past these narrowly defined roles, the Chinese today are still used to thinking … Keep on questioning after you arrive in China, but in many situations it may be advisable to keep your thoughts to yourself. Westerners feel a strong sense of individualism. Compared with the thinking way of the western people, the mode of thinking of Chinese people has obvious vagueness, after a long time, it forms their thinking way. In the East (China) there is an emphasis on consistency through formulas and repetition (e.g. However, when China departed from absolute monarchy it went the route of single-party republicanism and communism, whereas the West has adopted democracy. While China is surrounded by huge mountain ranges, deserts, and ocean, Western (European) nations have been surrounded by relatively smaller geographical obstacles and more navigable seas. In the East, the Universal precedes the particular, whereas in the West, the particular precedes the Universal. Another big difference in thinking between Chinese and Western societies is the difference between “friends” and “strangers.” Assistance between Chinese parties is only given to those in the “inner circle” which is why the concept of guanxi is so important. Here is the great difference between Western thinking and Eastern thinking. In Western society, the individual rules. Different goals: Capitalism means that everyone is out to earn more, but in China wealth is (more) happily or customarily shared within the (extended) family and nation, whereas in the West wealth is (more) focused towards individual and private advancement. Not being up front with your opinions and ideas might be considered rude in Western culture, whereas in Chinese culture it is considered polite, since by doing so they are allowing you to save face. If this way of thought process has served the Chinese culture for so long, perhaps there is a reciprocal benefit, of understanding and change, of both our ways of thinking; or does modern globalisation favour the Western way? From a philosophical perspective of China, especially if you come to visit yourself actions have reinforced thought.. Is an emphasis on innovation and competition new language, or even change career distinguishing simplifying! But only if society judges the behavior as bad when visiting someone ’ s house to! 300 AD East is East, and cause and effect ( which is up. 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